Player Profile: Chris Wilson

Today, our Player Profile series continues with St. Joe's junior point guard Chris Wilson. A year ago, Wilson saw his scoring, assist, and rebound numbers increase from his freshman campaign. What can Hawk fans expect from the Fayetteville, North Carolina native now, as a junior?

The importance of point guard play in college basketball simply cannot be understated. As a result, point guards operate under a microscope. St. Joe's point guard Chris Wilson, now a junior, is critical to the Hawks' success this season. He knows it. The coaches know it. And the fans know it.

"Chris is embracing the opportunity of being an upperclassman," Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda told Hawk Hill Hardwood. "He's coming into his own as a leader now."

As a freshman, Wilson averaged 3.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a game, in just over 20 minutes of playing time. Last season, he saw those totals jump, in increased minutes, to 6.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.1 rebounds.

A key for Wilson this season, in addition to an improved shooting percentage, is consistency. Chris had games, like Notre Dame, American, Drexel, and Fordham, where he was brilliant. Against Notre Dame, he had 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and just one turnover in 41 minutes. Chris had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in a big win at Drexel. Unfortunately, he had games where he struggled too.

"We're looking for him to be more consistent each game, instead of riding the roller coaster as he did last season," Coach Duda explained. Games like last season's loss at Charlotte and loss at Villanova need to involve more productive play from Chris in order for the Hawks, as a team, to make a jump this year.

The desire to improve is there, and Chris' game has improved over his time on Hawk Hill. A 28% three-point shooter a year ago, Chris has shown an improved stroke early this preseason, and an ability to knock down shots from three. In an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday, Wilson knocked down threes from the right and left wing, as well as a 17-foot pull-up, in the span of just a couple minutes.

With the departure of Tay Jones, Wilson looks to have an increased role of responsibility this year. It appears as if he'll get the lion's share of the minutes at the point early on this season as Kyle Molock continues to adjust to the college game, working himself back from injury.

As an upperclassman now, with two years of significant playing time already behind him, the coaching staff has made it clear to Chris what they expect of him. "He needs to realize that each play doesn't have to involve hitting a home run," Duda explained. "A single is ok."

In just 19 days, St. Joe's will open the season at Vermont. On a starting lineup that is likely to include three seniors, it's not an understatement to say that the most important player on the floor is likely the junior point guard. After an offseason of continued work, Chris Wilson will look to make yet another jump, just like he did before his freshman and sophomore seasons. A lot is riding on it.

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